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UPDATED: December 20, 2011 Web Exclusive
Calling for Transformation of China's Diplomacy
Tsinghua University holds seminar on Chinese foreign policy

"In the future, China should be more active in world affairs. China should adjust its foreign policy with a broader, more long-term view, and with creative involvement," said Wang Yizhou, a famous Chinese scholar during a seminar on Chinese diplomacy co-held by the Institute of Modern International Relations, Tsinghua University and the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy.

The seminar was held at Xijiao Hotel in Beijing on December 17. More than 100 scholars, officials and professors participated. Among them, four gave keynote speeches: Le Yucheng, assistant minister and director of policy planning of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Robert D. Kaplan, senior research fellow at the Center for a New American Security; Shen Guofang, chief editor of World Affairs Press; and Wang, vice president of the School of International Studies at Peking University.

Wang claimed that the transformation of China's foreign affairs is closely associated with and mutually reinforced by the developmental changes taking place in China. China's strong economic focus has had a profound effect on its foreign relations and international strategies.

Wang said China's economic development is catching worldwide attention. However, China is seen as a lame giant for its weak performance in world affairs and some social problems. Thus, to match its position as a great power, China should further explore the changes in principles and approaches taken in the practice of foreign affairs to constantly adjust, renew and improve its approach to diplomatic and international relations.

In the group discussion, Professor Liu Changmin of China University of Political Science and Law echoed Wang's viewpoint. According to Liu, the transformation of China's foreign affairs would be a long-time process, but now is the time to make partial adjustments. Since the beginning of China's reform and opening up, China pursued a passive policy of nonalignment. However, it is seen as irresponsible by the international community and weak by Chinese people. China should renew its diplomacy to keep pace with the times.

The consensus reached at the seminar was that strategic thinking and practices regarding Chinese diplomacy should change, and harmonious coordination with the domestic economic, military and financial sectors would present a real and comprehensive China to the international community.

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